Israel News for March 13, 2017

Terror Attack
Around 4am today a terrorist stabbed two Border Police officers in a small security station near the Lion’s Gate in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City.

According to Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, “What we know is the terrorist arrived in the area and parked his vehicle while police officers were stationed at that checkpoint as part of general security. He then took the opportunity to follow them when they entered the entrance to the police point and stabbed both of the officers, moderately wounding them. The officers responded in a life-threatening situation and opened fire and shot and killed the terrorist.”

Both officers were treated at the scene by Magen David Adom paramedics and transferred to Hadassah University Medical Center in moderate and light condition.

The terrorist was identified as a 25 year old resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabl Mukaber. Following the attack police searched the terrorist’s house and arrested four of his relatives. They also prevented a mourner’s tent from being erected outside the terrorist’s home.

For further reading click here.

US Negotiator
Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trump’s special representative for international negotiations, is scheduled to arrive in Israel today. He will meet with PM Netanyahu, President Rivlin, acting National Security Council head Yaakov Nagel and Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories head Maj.-Gen.Yoav Mordechai. Greenblatt will also meet with PA President Abbas.

Greenblatt will discuss guidelines to govern construction in settlements. Netanyahu and Trump agreed during their meeting in Washington last month to establish a mechanism to work out these guidelines and Greenblatt is to head that mechanism.

This comes in the aftermath of a phone conversation between Trump and Abbas in which Trump, “emphasized his personal belief that peace is possible and that the time has come to make a deal.” He stressed that such a deal would have to “be negotiated directly between the two parties,” and that the US could not impose a solution. Trump also invited Abbas to the White House “in the near future.”

Greenblatt’s discussions are expected to go beyond the settlement issue and include exploring ways to restart the peace process.

For further reading click here.

Jerusalem Purim
Whereas most of the world celebrated the holiday of Purim yesterday, Jerusalem is celebrating today. That’s because according to the Book of Esther the Jews of Shushan, the Persian capital which was surrounded by a wall, fought their enemies for an extra day and celebrated a day after the Jews in cities without walls. Therefore, all cities that were walled at the time of the Purim story celebrate Purim on the 15th day of Adar instead of on the 14th. Party lovers have the opportunity to celebrate two days of festivities!

If you missed our special Purim issue [which has received rave reviews] and what to read it today on Shushan Purim, click here.

Space Photos
French astronaut Thomas Pesquet took photos of the Dead Sea from outer space. To see the photos click here.